15th APDC Congress – Minister defends State’s interest in maintaining the Golden Share in PT

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Mário Lino, Minister of Public Works, Transport and Communications, reiterated today at the end of the 15th APDC Congress that the Portuguese State has every interest in maintaining Golden Share in Portugal Telecom to ensure strategic investment similar to what happens in other companies telecommunications in Europe.

«The existence of a Golden Share of the Portuguese State in Portugal Telecom has been the subject of some controversy.

It is worth remembering in this regard that it was when, in 1994, the privatization of Portugal Telecom began, that the existence of of a Golden Share that guaranteed the State to defend the public interest in a company rightly classified as strategic, even after its privatization «, said the minister.

Advancing that there may be an interest from international companies in preparing Portuguese public opinion defending the need for the State to abandon its position in PT, Mário Lino says that the consequence of leaving the State of the Company would certainly be the taking of a higher position by foreign capital in PT .

Portugal Telecom does not have a sufficiently strong group of investors, with the position of leading Portuguese investors not to make up, as a whole, even 25% of the share capital, which already includes the approximately 7% held directly or indirectly by the State , which combined with the current global telecommunications context and the dispersion of PT’s share capital, with around 70% held by international investors, propitiate this situation.

Mário Lino also recalled that the existence of a Golden Share at PT is not unique in Europe, recalling that if in Portugal the context was created in 1994 by Cavaco Silva when the company was privatized, at international level it has a history with Margaret Tatcher.

«Nor am I defending that the holding of a Golden Share by the State is the only, or even, the best way to defend the public interest in a company», added the minister, admitting other options that may include the increase in share capital, similarly to what happens in other European countries, without later confirming whether the State will be able to follow this path.

Already on the sidelines of the conference, Miguel Horta e Costa, chairman of PT’s Board of Directors, argued with journalists that the board of directors maintains a reserved position in relation to Golden Share, admitting however that anything that can contribute to strengthen the core shareholder Portuguese is positive.

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